There has been quite a lot of talk about the French ban on the “Burkini” in recent weeks thankfully it has for now been ruled illegal. There have also been comparisons with rules in other countries which dictate how women should dress, arguing along the lines of “well if they insist on it, we can ban it fair’s fair”. Now whilst I suspect most people reading this will consider that nonsense, I will none the less point out that saying “they do bad stuff, so we can as well” is a really really dumb argument. Really do you want to mimic the behaviour of people whose behavior you find objectionable. Now some women in Europe may be being forced to wear burqa’s when they don’t want to, but as the ex-muslim observes, banning it won’t help those women, they’ll just lose what freedoms they currently have. Not only will it not help them and will further enforce their marginalization it decays our freedoms.
“The burkini ban is ridiculous and bad. This I agree on, unequivocally. My reasoning for this boils down to it defeats its own purpose by only isolating a marginalized group further, and policing the clothing of others is bad On Principle because it violates bodily autonomy.”
If we declare burkini’s unacceptable what else should also be declared unacceptable? Also if the French argument for banning the burqa is secularism, why no ban on turbans, nuns, priests collars, Hasidc hats etc etc. In certain places and circumstances it’s reasonable to insist that people have their faces uncovered, say for instance in a bank but that’s not specific to a particular style of face covering and doesn’t apply to the wider world. If we decide that the dress of a particular culture should be restricted what makes that mode of garb so uniquely different from any other that such rules couldn’t be extended to almost anything. It’s the same slippery slope as presented to us by calls to treat “hate” crime more severely depending on the sub culture in question. Any law or legislation that singles out one group over another either for preferential or disadvantageous treatment is not a route we should ever think about going down. The argument that seems so reasonable today to deal with one group is all to readily reused tomorrow to oppress us all. So to answer the question posed in the title of this ramble – because when we start saying we can dictate what one group of people can wear we give legitimacy to the sort of arsehole who thinks it reasonable to tell a 3-year-old they shouldn’t wear a tutu. What better way is there to crush creativity and joy and erode the liberties we’re meant to be standing up for than to start telling people what they can and can’t wear?
So let people wear burkini’s (it’s an improvement on the mankini) , tutu’s or whatever the hell they like. If you don’t like it tough just say nothing, but if it’s as awesome as this kids tutu, take a risk and tell someone they look ace (or not it’s a free country and I’m not going to tell you what to do).